Southampton Review: Frustratingly good enough but tactically naive & a trip to North London

Classic Villa, eh! Win our first four games including a 7-2 thrashing of the reigning champions Liverpool, only to capitulate and quite embarrassingly so to Leeds United and Southampton. Without a win at Villa Park since 2004 against the Saints, the result shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise but let’s be honest, frustratingly, Villa don’t tend to do things the easy way.

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View Across the Dugout: Leicester City vs. Aston Villa -East vs. West

Monday 8th March 2020. The night of our last visit to Leicester and the King Power Stadium. It was a miserable trip, a humiliating 4-0 defeat against a side we’d fought hard to beat over 2 legs a month earlier in the Carabao Cup Semi-finals. Little did we know, it would also mark the final time we’d be allowed inside stadiums for the foreseeable future. All in all, not a fond memory.

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View Across the Dugout: Aston Villa vs Liverpool ft The Anfield Wrap

For the first time in two decades, Villa have opened a Premier League campaign with consecutive wins, keeping two clean sheets in the process. Considering it took us 8 games to reach the same points total last season, the bright start has been enough to start spreading the belief amongst the fans that we might well be in for a much more positive season.

Whilst the victories have come against a Sheffield United team who have yet to find last season’s levels and a Fulham side who already look a little hapless, especially defensively, it’s still been enjoyable watching us play with greater confidence and even a little swagger. Nevertheless, the visit of defending champions Liverpool will be the real litmus test as to just how much we’ve progressed.

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Villa vs. Wolves: The ‘Across The Dugout’ Preview

It’s been a long season (exceptionally so with the COVID-19 enforced break), and it’s certainly been a testing one for Villa throughout. With games quickly running out and just one point separating four teams in the relegation battle, it’s more important than ever for Villa to get back to winning ways.

We’re entering a hugely difficult period of playing 3 of the top 6 sides in quick succession and given our poor record against the top 6 sides this season it’s a worry. We knew it would be a tough season when we were promoted though and either way, now would be the ideal time to rectify that record, starting with the local derby against Wolves.

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